I’m going to let you in on a little secret that you might not know. Best Western hotels in Europe tend to be nicer than Best Western hotels in the United States. I learned this on my first trip to France and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in 2012. Having recently returned from a trip to Bordeaux, I still stand by that opinion. My husband and I stayed four nights in the historic city center of Bordeaux at two different hotels. Hotel Bayonne Etche Ona Best Western Premier is a four star property, located in the Golden Triangle district and an excellent hotel for its location and service level.
After parking our car in the nearby garage, we rolled our luggage behind us to the hotel entrance off La Rue Ste Catherine. We were quite pleased with the hotel’s location, as it was near the Grand Théâtre, the Opera House, the Allées de Tourny, with its many shops and restaurants, and simply an all-around great location for walking this UNESCO World Heritage city. Once inside the hotel, we took the lift to the second floor and arrived at the lobby with its art deco design.
Check in was easy and welcoming. I’m embarrassed to say that neither my husband or I speak French, so we always breath a sigh of relief when we hear the staff speak perfect English. We arrived before 3:00 p.m. check-in and were pleased that the hotel offered to store our luggage while we explored the bustling city.
With 61 rooms and four suites, the hotel blends 18th century architecture with 1925-1930 art deco design. The hotel joins two historic XVIIIth buildings, each decorated differently. Our room, an open floor plan with a step down from the sitting area to the bedroom, featured a queen bed with two separate bathrooms. The bathroom closest to the bed offered a bathtub, while the bathroom off the living room included a rainfall shower. Additionally, all rooms included air conditioning, memory foam mattress topper, Nespresso coffee machine, mini bar, 40 inch flat screen tv, complimentary WiFi, in-room safe, bathrobes and slippers, organic toiletries and concierge service.
Breakfast is not included in the price of the room, however it is available with package deals or at an additional charge. The breakfast buffet was plentiful and offered a large variety of items from meats and cheeses to soft boiled and scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, yogurt, cereal, coffee, tea, juice and, of course, who can resist the French pastries! During our visit, breakfast was 16 euro per person.
Room service is also an option, for an additional fee, with choices of French, American or a healthy “fitness” breakfast. Speaking of fitness, the hotel offers a workout room downstairs with professional sports equipment such as a treadmill, rowing-machine, elliptical machine, stationery bike, weights and yoga mats.
Hotel rates start at 142 euro, including taxes for club (standard) rooms, with deluxe rooms starting at 172 euro, including taxes, to suites starting at 280 euro, including taxes, depending on the season and availability. (You can compare these rates on Expedia or Travelocity.) As always, check the website for current pricing and special offers. Please note that best available rates are available from booking directly through the website. This is not a pet-friendly hotel. Breakfast is not included with the price of the stay. Early check in and late check out is available for an additional fee.
Review by Francophile and San Francisco-based Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown. Photos © Nancy D. Brown. Hotel Bayonne Etche Ona, along with Nouvelle-Aquitaine Tourism arranged my stay for review purposes, however, all opinions are my own.